The Denver Nuggets 2023 Media day is a wrap. Here’s the biggest bullet points from the day and if you want to watch the whole thing you can get it at the link below.


Nuggets practice facility in the works but still sounds very conceptual


Josh Kroenke mentioned that the Kroenkes own land surrounding Ball Arena, including the land currently housing Elitch Gardens, that is currently part of a development project He stated that in the first phase of the project, a facility for the Nuggets and Avalanche is likely to be constructed. The land that Elitches sits on is part of a much larger development project called The River Mile. Elitches resides in an area the project has designated as “Headwater,” which is the first phase of the project. According to the project website, the Headwater area is scheduled for completion sometime in 2026/2027. So, if you’re looking for a timeline, that’s probably a good place to start. Now, that being said, construction projects of this magnitude and duration can encounter risks that may significantly extend project timelines. Let’s just hope they complete it in time for Nikola Jokic to enjoy it before he departs into that Sombor Sunset.


Looking at every option with RSN

The Nuggets are exploring every option regarding their Regional Sports Network (RSN) situation. It’s no secret that the Nuggets have been embroiled in a carriage dispute with Comcast, the largest cable television provider in the Nuggets market, for years. Comcast does not broadcast the games or Altitude TV in general. While this has always been a major source of frustration for fans, it worsened in recent weeks with announcements from teams like the Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz. They are rolling out direct-to-consumer streaming plans and making the games available on channels that can be accessed with nothing more than a traditional TV antenna. Unlike the Jazz and Suns, the RSN that produces Nuggets games, Altitude TV, is owned by the team’s owners. So it’s not quite an apples-to-apples comparison, more like comparing apples to crab apples. Similar, but less edible and more likely to be a mushy nuisance come Fall (I don’t know where I’m going with this). In any case, Josh noted that he is extremely frustrated and that they are exploring every option, but he did not elaborate further.


Christian Braun’s role as a playmaker remains unclear

One of the biggest questions facing the Nuggets from the front office to the coaches down to the players is how they will replace Bruce Brown. The natural choice would be Christian Braun, who proved last year that he can be an effective wing for the team, even as a rookie. While much of Bruce’s game and Christian’s game overlap, ball handling and playmaking were areas where Bruce excelled, to the point that he became the de facto backup point guard in the playoffs. We have yet to see that part of Christian’s game (at least on a regular basis). Braun frequently spoke during his media day press conference about the opportunity left by Bruce for a playmaker and ball handler. However, GM Calvin Booth stated, “Christian, I think, has improved his ball handling a lot, but he won’t be playing as a backup point guard.” It will be interesting to see how Christian’s role unfolds and whether he gets the chance to take on those playmaking duties off the bench.


Zeke Nnaji is working on refining his shooting form

You might have noticed last year that Zeke did not shoot the ball well from three. While he was a 46% three-point shooter (on admittedly low volume) in 2021/22, Zeke’s three-point shooting dropped to a dismal 26% last season. We gained more insight into why that happened at media day. Zeke spent last season completely overhauling his shooting motion to release the ball quicker. He said at media day that he knew there would be a drop-off, but now he feels comfortable with his new shot. Now, one could argue that if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it, and 46% from three definitely isn’t broken. But if Zeke can return to shooting at a 40% clip from three with a quicker release, the struggles of last season will quickly pay off. Time will tell in a pivotal season for the fourth-year player.


MPJ is working on his handle

Michael Porter Jr. mentioned in his press conference that he spent most of his offseason focusing on improving his handle. This should be music to every Nuggets fan’s ears. While there are limited opportunities for MPJ to make plays with the ball in his hands when Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray are on the floor, MPJ should have ample chances to create if he plays with the bench unit. If Mike can initiate more of the offense and take on defenders off the dribble, it will significantly reduce the pressure on players like Reggie Jackson and Christian Braun, while also making those non-Jokic/Murray minutes far less painful. Mike said he doesn’t expect his role to change much this season, but if he can develop into more of a focal point with the bench unit while allowing Jokic and Murray to get some rest, it will yield significant dividends this year.


Jokic and Murray are prioritizing rest

Murray jokingly mentioned that after he realized Team Canada was going to have two-a-day practices, he decided to opt out of playing in the FIBA World Cup. In reality, Murray expanded on the real reasons for missing out on playing for his national team, which essentially boiled down to the need for rest. Jokic, on the other hand, quickly dismissed the notion that this was the most fun he’s had during the summer, stating quite the opposite due to the shortened offseason. There’s no doubt that both of these guys would have loved to represent their respective nations and play for international glory in the Philippines this year. However, both seemed to arrive at the very reasonable decision that, with a short offseason, the best course of action was to rest and refocus on winning a championship.


Peyton Watson is this years “guy in the best shape of his life”

PWat might be the biggest question mark heading into the season, and for all the right reasons. Nuggets fans got a taste of what the 21-year-old could do at the end of the regular season last year, but during the postseason, when the rotation tightened, Watson found himself on the outside looking in. Now, with the departures of Bruce Brown and Jeff Green, Watson appears ready to take on a substantial role off the bench. If he’s going to fill many of the gaps left by Green, that means playing as a small ball 5 and spending a lot of time at the power forward position. Watson stated that he has added 20 lbs of muscle to his body this year and is in the best shape of his life. He’ll need that added strength to battle with bigs in the league, and even if he doesn’t end up in the small ball big role, his added girth should enable him to overpower wings, which is sure to be a positive.


What were the biggest Media Day storylines to you? Let us know down in the comments section!